Monday, March 26, 2007


I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity. Gilda Radner

5:00 am. I thought it was going to be another ordinary day in my life.

I got up early. Carefully I tiptoed to the small bathroom of the studio house I was renting. My roommates Tey and Mae, who are my sorority sisters from Pampanga, were still sleeping soundly. I had to be quiet so as not to wake them up. They slept late last night, like me.
After taking a bath and doing my morning routine, I was in a hurry getting on a tricycle, careful not to ruin my all white uniform. I was a student in a medical school. On my way to the school a scene was playing in my mind.

When I was a child, everyone in my family believed that one day I was going to be a doctor. Not only my family members anticipated my being a successful doctor when I grow up- my friends, neighbors and teachers were looking forward to that day too. They would tell me, “Marisol, you will be the one to cure my children when they get sick, you will follow the path of your grandparents” or some would call me “Doctor Cribe”. They firmly believed that I was going to be their doctor, because both my maternal grandparents were prominent doctors in our province. People believed in me. And they made me believe in myself. My teachers heard me say on stage when I was 6 years old,

…“when I grow up I want to be a doctor”.

My parents and teachers never called me “bad” or “stupid”. Everyday I heard them giving inspiring words that pushed me to compete with myself and have the desire to achieve. They groomed me to be smart and studious…which we know are detrimental to being the doctor that they all wanted me to be. Everyday the words “you can be the next most prominent doctor in our country” made me decide to take up medicine after college. Of course I made it to the medical school, with full scholarship.

I was already running, I didn’t want to be late for my biochemistry class; another mastery test was scheduled for that day. The third mastery test for that week.

I was already almost on top of the stairs of the overpass when I felt the ground shaking and the surrounding spinning. An earthquake! I had to stop moving. I almost fell down the steep stairs. Then I felt my blood surge through my head. I was cold. Everywhere seemed suddenly dark.
I stopped right there. And when I finally felt a little better, I retraced my steps back home.

“Oh dear… I better not be late for my test… alright…I’m going home”, I couldn’t make up my mind, but I was already heading home. I was scared. I would fail this test. I would fail everybody back home.

“Hey! You’re back! Why?” asked Tey who was making herself a cup of coffee getting ready for a shower.
“I think I’m getting down with a flu”, but I really wasn’t sure about that. “Can I go to the bathroom first?” I just had to do something quickly.
“Sure, sis!” she didn’t even bother to look at me. Good.

I went to the bathroom …I opened the cabinet and grabbed a small box – Eva Test.
I waited for three minutes after soaking the tip of that white strip in a small cup of my urine sample. I was full of apprehension. My mind was playing, asking all sorts of “what if…” which my mind couldn’t find concrete answers.

There it was…it said positive! I looked at the box label more than three times just to make sure I was interpreting the results correctly. But I couldn’t cheat on this test. It said positive. I felt worse!

“You rest now, you want coffee?” asked Tey who was just waiting for me to come out of the bathroom.
I didn’t hear her right, it sounded like “What now? Sorry!”
Without a word about it to Tey or Mae, I went straight to my bed, didn’t bother to change my clothes anymore.

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